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A dad?s anguish

SHERIFFS evict a handcuffed John Duyker from his home at Banora Point yesterday, following a protracted legal battle.
SHERIFFS evict a handcuffed John Duyker from his home at Banora Point yesterday, following a protracted legal battle.

THIS is the heart-rending side of eviction orders courts don't see, with emotions running high in a Banora Point suburban street yesterday.

Distraught father of three, John Duyker, called for his children as he was led handcuffed down the front steps of his house and decried a legal system he believes has failed him.

Tweed Heads sheriffs and police were just doing their job ? acting on a Supreme Court eviction order.

What was meant to be a great school holiday for nine-year-old twins Ryan and Nicholas and their six-year-old brother Lachlan turned to tears and heartbreak as they were told to pack and leave.

Shouting for "justice" and "democracy not communism" Mr Duyker, a 59-year-old electrician, was left standing barefoot on his driveway.

Police later allowed the boys, twins aged nine and a six to collect their toys and PlayStations.

But they ordered Mr Duyker not to re-enter the Widgee Crescent home he built in 1990 and which contained his personal belongings, financial records, work tools and supplies and work ute.

One of the older sons brought Mr Duyker his thongs which, along with his shirt and shorts, he said, were the only assets he had been left with.

A locksmith changed the locks to the home and ambulance officers were called after the children became distressed.

Mr Duyker said he had made no preparations to leave because he had successfully fought off four previous eviction orders.

He said that without his work gear, a base to work from or a place to live, he expected to have to apply for the dole.

Mr Duyker, divorced, said he had been caring for his children during the school holidays, but had never expected the eviction notice to be acted on.

"This was the fifth eviction notice I've sat through," he said.

"The last one was withdrawn and the first three not acted on.

"You take them with a grain of salt after a while."

Mr Duyker said he believed the court order, issued by the NSW Supreme Court on behalf of insolvency authority ITSA (Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia) was being investigated by a range of other government authorities was invalid.

The eviction followed legal debts which mounted following his divorce, a contested bankruptcy and claims by the tax office, mostly now withdrawn, that as a former director of the failed South Tweed Rugby League Football club he was responsible for the club's unpaid taxes.

Mr Duyker said the federal government and the legal system had failed him and scorned appeals.

After authorities left following the eviction, Mr Duyker sat forlorn on the footpath outside his former home.

His children, with their toys, went to the home of a long-time family friend who, Mr Duyker said, had stood by him through years of legal struggle.



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